The Turn of the Key
By: Ruth Ware
# of pages: 384
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
Review: This is my favorite Ruth Ware book I’ve read so far. I enjoyed her others just fine: The Woman in Cabin 10, In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and The Lying Game. However, I enjoyed The Turn of the Key the most. I haven’t read the classic The Turn of the Screw yet, but I gather this is either a retelling or has a similar storyline.
In her letter to an attorney, Rowan states she is guilty…but not of the worst crime she’s been accused of committing. She goes on to tell the story of how she was hired as a nanny at a large modern estate in the remote countryside of England. She’s told right off the bat that the house may be haunted, at least that’s what overly superstitious people believe. Rowan isn’t superstitious so she doesn’t give that claim a second thought. Not, that is, until strange things begin to occur in the house.
I definitely enjoyed this Gothic suspense and was surprised at the plot twists. I recommend this to those who enjoy the Gothic and/or physicological thriller genres.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Interesting and suspenseful story, was able to relate to the character more than some of Ware’s other characters.